Oriental, N.C., the quaint fishing village with less than 1,000 residents, knows how to raise money in a big way. For the Second Annual Leukemia Cup Regatta at River Dunes on June 9-10, local and visiting sailors, with a little help from their personal and corporate friends, raised more than $107,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the fight to cure cancer.
River Dunes Director of Operations J.C. Capplemann is more than pleased with the race, participation at the silent auction and dinner-dance celebration, and the overall fund-raising results.
“We ranked 17th last year by raising $90,000,” said Cappelmann. “We won’t know until all the Regattas are finished this fall, but I am hoping we will place in the top 10.”
Thirty-seven sailboats, ranging in length from 21 to 45 feet, competed in Spinnaker A and B, Jib and Main, Cruising A and B and Multi-hull classes. The Oriental Dinghy Club headed by Ken Small, Principal Race Officer, provided race management services. Winds were light on the Neuse River during the two-day event, maxing out at 10 knots. Captains, over-estimating their ability to beat into the wind, tacked several times before heading around the first red marker.
“There was a gentle, yet sufficient wind which enabled everyone to get around,” said Small. “This was an improvement compared to last year when there was little to no wind when I was racing instead of officiating.”
No race is without a little excitement, and the Leukemia Cup Regatta had just that. A little. There was a short delay at the beginning of the first race as the upwind marker had to be reset, then Ken Lury on Beshert hit the first marker, then two boats in the Cruising A Class wanted to cross the finish line at the same time, but also at the same place, and finally, Ron Medlin and BASH sported the only crew wearing bikinis. That’s excitement, Oriental-style.
Noting some cruisers are not racers, Small said a couple of boats “Did Not Finish” as they crossed the finish line from the wrong direction.
“Racing has its own set of rules,” said Small. “They can be like Chinese to someone who is not familiar with them. This is really a big charity event with a little sailing thrown in it,” he said.
Kent Fann, captain of Fannasea, who raised $1,125 dollars from 24 donors said, “We’re out here to have fun.”
David White, captain of Tidewater, won top honors by raising $9,985 dollars in donations and as a result, will join former America’s Cup Winner Gary Jobson, a lymphoma survivor, for a Fantasy Sail weekend in New Orleans later in the year.
“A huge thanks to our captains, crew, sponsors and donors,” said Cappelmann during the awards ceremony. “You all made this event, and we couldn’t have done it without you.”
Now an annual event, the June 2013 dates have yet to be announced. Visit riverdunes.com or call Cappelmann at 252-249-4908 for more details. Donations may be made online at LLS.org.
Kathy Enzerink is a regular contributor to All At Sea Southeast. Contact her at Kathy@allatsea.net.